OAKWOOD — When Johnson’s Trae Wilson was selected to play in this weekend’s Georgia Dugout Club All-Star Game, it fulfilled a dream he’d had since he was a kid.
Wilson grew up going to the games as a child and watching from the other side of the fence, while his father, Knights baseball coach, Tony Wilson, was coaching in the showcase for about 15 years.
And after all those years of watching, now its the younger Wilson’s turn to play.
A four-year starter at Johnson and Middle Georgia College signee, Wilson is on the Northeast squad that opens with its first of three games Friday at Golden Park in Columbus.
“I’m just going down there to have fun, play well and enjoy the experience,” said Trae Wilson, who finished his final high school season hitting ,440 with six home runs and 30 walks.
Teams filled with some of the best Class of 2012 talent representing all four parts of the state will be taking the field, not only as a fitting end to illustrious high school careers, but also as a display for pro scouts that will come to watch the games.
Eleven of the 24 players on the Northeast roster were part of a high school program that played for a state championship this month.
“Hopefully, I’ll open up some doors with scouts,” Wilson said.
Also from this area making the trip are North Hall’s Jesse Strickland, Lumpkin County’s Will Anderson and Banks County’s Taylor Foster.
For Strickland, a North Georgia College & State University signee, it’s especially meaningful after recovering fully from an ACL injury dating back to football season.
“I think it’s going to be a good time,” said Strickland, who finished his senior season hitting .419. “After my injury, I didn’t know that I would even be able to play this season.”
Even though coach Wilson was part of the event for the past 15 years, he’s getting to travel this year as a parent to watch with the rest of the family as Trae plays.
Johnson’s coach knows his son is on a good platform to be discovered by more scouts, even though he has already garnered attention as a power-hitting third baseman.
His father remembers one example of a player from Clarke Central, Corey Barrow, that played in the All-Star Game about nine years ago as a borderline pro prospect, but because of a strong weekend shot all the way up into the top 10 rounds.
“For Trae to be picked as one of the top players in the state is a big honor,” his father said. “I’m very proud of him getting to go down there and play with these great players.”
The Wilson family knows that pro scouts have come to his games to see him play this season, but the contact hasn’t been with one team in particular.
“When, where or if he gets drafted, there’s no telling,” coach Wilson added.
The first-year player Major League draft starts on Monday.
Wilson made the decision to attend Middle Georgia, which fell just one game shy of the Junior College World Series this season. He hopes to be able to finish his eligibility at the school in two years, then transfer into a Division I program.